The moon and the planets

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 99–102 | Cite as

On the apparent secular accelerations of the Moon and the Sun

  • R. A. Lyttleton
  • J. P. Fitch


The discussion of tidal friction in the Earth-Moon system given in successive editions ofThe Earth by Jeffreys is shown to contain a serious dynamical error. When the treatment is corrected, it shows that the moment of inertia of the Earth must be changing. The apparent secular accelerations of the Moon and Sun require a diminishing moment of inertia, and the rate is in agreement with the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the core.


Dynamical Error Tidal Friction Secular Acceleration Successive Edition 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Lyttleton
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. P. Fitch
    • 3
  1. 1.St John's CollegeCambridgeEngland
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaU.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of Computer StudiesUniversity of LeedsEngland

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